TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is informing local families about resources to aid with the ongoing infant formula shortages.

Assistance with affording groceries or infant formula may be possible through the Tompkins County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, and more information can be found here.

The TCHD is encouraging families to check the lot codes on any formula you already have to ensure it was not part of the Abbott Nutrition recall of products in the Similac, Alimentum and Elecare formulas. If it is not part of the recall, the formula is safe to use.

Pediatric healthcare providers may be able to provide formula samples and can help recommend a nutritionally similar formula that may be readily available locally.

Smaller stores and pharmacies may have stock available, and calling beforehand can streamline the search.

Look online for options from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies, and it is not recommended to buy formula online from unknown individuals on social media sites or auction sites.

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advises against watering down formula or attempting to make homemade infant formula, which may not be safe or meet an infant’s nutritional needs. Additionally, it is not recommended to use toddler formula for infants.

Hoarding formula will further impact the supply chain and continue to exacerbate the stress of the shortage on the community.

“The formula shortage may understandably cause alarm, frustration and stress for families, but please be assured that formula production continues, and the supply chain shortage is temporary,” Public Health Director Frank Kruppa said. “Contact your child’s healthcare provider for support in navigating how to best introduce your infant to a new formula if needed and do not resort to homemade formulas as an alternative. For families struggling to afford groceries and formula, Tompkins County’s WIC program is here to help.”

The WIC program can help families struggling to afford groceries and formula as well as connect individuals with additional resources like healthcare, counseling and other food assistance programs.

Zoë Freer-Hessler is the digital editor/reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Joining in November 2021, she has covered a wide range of topics related to local news. She can be reached at,...